On immigrating, again

4 August 2016

Moving across the world is one of these things that’s hard to comprehend until you’ve done it. It does feel a bit like a holiday, but a kind of weird holiday that involves buying coffee machines and opening bank accounts.

Last time we did this, we were on our own. I could mope around the Victoria & Albert museum thinking about things after I had sent out a million CVs. Drink tea and eat moderately good scones in the basement cafe.

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This time around we’re both more experienced and have an awesomely brave little person with us. And oh yes, everything is in German. So much is similar though – smaller cars, houses all clumped together with drastically different decorating styles, the first floor being the floor above ground, front gardens being entirely tiled and everyone parking there, high streets for shopping, mobile phone suppliers, eating dinner later, and all that.

There’s loads we don’t know of course – namely how to speak German very smoothly. I am getting better at asking people where things are, understanding when they ask me questions, and apologizing. The danger of asking someone where something is in German, is, of course, receiving a torrent of high-speed Deutsch in return. The ‘quiet times’ is a bit odd – when you’re not meant to do laundry, make any loud noises or do any hammering are understandably from 10pm, but also from 1pm-3pm every afternoon, and the entirety of Sunday. Because napping. And family time.

But I’ve learned important things like how to google where to buy things, in German. Google Translate is my very best friend.

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